Sea Cucumber & Sea Urchin

Sea Cucumber
Sea Urchin

I am the proud recipient of some fresh echinoderms from a surfer/diver friend of mine. They come from around the islands off the coast of Southern California. They make wonderful photography subjects, don’t you think?
I adore uni, so I am tempted to eat the sea urchin roe with a squeeze of lemon juice, maybe with sushi rice and nori, just like at the sushi bar.
But this euphemistically named sea cucumber is a whole ‘nother animal. It is kinda scary, even for me, and I am anything but squeamish with food. After looking at recipes on the internet in brown sauce and braised with mushrooms, I think the unfortunate fate of this creature will be the same as Psychgrad’s lemon cake.
And as if to add insult to injury I found this on line: Sea cucumbers are sausage shaped, and their skin is covered with warty bumps. When threatened, cucumbers can contract their muscles and shoot out water from their body making them thicker and harder. For this, they are considered an aphrodisiac. Yikes.

13 thoughts on “Sea Cucumber & Sea Urchin”

  1. You are adventurous with food, you rock! Sea urchin is wonderful and I’ve never had sea cucumber. My Asian market only has it frozen or in a more jellied look.

    So, what was it like?

  2. I think you could put that in front of me and I would never guess what it is.

    But, take comfort in knowing that my mushy lemon cake will keep your sea cucumber comfortable in the world of garbage.

  3. Lori Lynn you are my hero !!!! I don´t imagine myself eating those, even doing a self proclaimed adventure in new tastes

  4. Sea cucumbers and sea urchins are fun to look at underwater. I have never tasted either and I am pretty sure I don’t intend too. The photos are very nice.

  5. I agree with Peter Lori Lynn..you rock!!
    The most adventurous i have gotten with sea food is squid. I can’t wait to see what you present to us! 🙂

  6. To All: Thanks for your appreciation of this less-than-tasty looking post!

    I like adventure in the kitchen! And I hate to disappoint you, but alas, I did not eat the sea cucumber. I have decided that I will first taste it at the hands of an accomplished chef, perhaps in a high-end Chinese restaurant. Then perhaps tackle it myself after that. I tried, but I could not motivate myself to prepare it this time. Something as ugly as this requires motivation on part of the cook for sure!

    I definitely enjoyed the photography aspect however.

  7. Hi Peter – “YOU ROCK” is the ultimate compliment coming from you.

    Hi Psychgrad – lemony sea cucumber!

    Hi Anamika – me too, but only this time.

    Hi Sylvia – “YOUR HERO” thanks!!!
    I can’t just stick to cupcakes you know.

    Hi Simona – so you are a diver? I enjoyed snorkeling in Belize and the Exumas. In the Exumas I dove down for conch (about 8 feet of water), brought them up to the boat then made conch fritters. Very cool.

    Hi Laurie – thank you so much and sorry to disappoint, no delicious photos of the sea cucumber this time.
    I love squid! Maybe we’ll see it on your blog soon?

  8. Wowie, what fabulous photos. Amazing-looking critters, aren’t they? I think I’ve eaten sea cucumber in some Chinese dishes, but I could be thinking of something else.

  9. Hi Maryann – yeah I know.

    Hi Lisa – Thanks! I was excited about those photos. When I see sea cucumber on a menu now, I will not be thinking of some innocuous vegetable…

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